Invercargill musician Chris Chilton is happy to have his weekends back with gigs after Covid-19 thwarted them.
Supporting the arts and music in Southland for over 30 years, musician Chris Chilton has no intention of slowing down.
He takes pride in playing a role in the arts and entertainment industry in Southland and is now receiving recognition for it.
Chilton is due to be made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Music and Journalism in honor of the Queen’s birthday this year.
When Chilton first received the news, he couldn’t help himself.
* Southland band with a heart of gold
* Hall of Fame for Three Southern Musicians
* Revival of the Invercargill music scene
“I thought it was the wind… it was a huge shock.”
He has been involved in music and journalism in the region since the 1980s.
Chilton’s Triple Shot, like many other Southern bands, went on forced hiatus for about a year, while the Covid-19 lockdown forced the closure of the venues where they were scheduled to perform.
But now the trio is doing what they love again, playing shows almost every weekend.
“After Covid, orders are back. It’s great to be back on it, it was terrible when I had a year off.”
But not only music occupies his time. Chilton is also helping to edit a book for his cousin Peter Chilton, which is due out soon.
The book “What is the name of your group?” tells the true story of Invercargill-based band Airstrike’s foray into the music scene and how they nearly hit it big.
“They were so close to breaking it, rubbing shoulders with large groups. They almost made it.
Chilton served on the committee of the Southland Musicians’ Club for over 20 years as Secretary and currently Vice President, mentoring and promoting up-and-coming musicians through articles for Southland Times. He is also a life member of the club.
He has been a journalist for 35 years, using his platform to generate broader interest in the arts and provide insight into local community issues.
Chilton wrote the narration for the Southland 1990 Show, celebrating 150 years of New Zealand music, which featured over 300 performers, including himself.
He edited the history of the Southland Musicians Club – 45 South.
He is currently a committee member of the Southland Music Hall of Fame, which he was inducted into in 2016.
Chilton was chairman of the Southland Entertainment Awards for seven years until her 30th birthday celebration in 2017, and also chaired the committee that distributed Southland Pretty Wicked Head’s New Age Savage album both nationally and internationally.
In the early 2000s, Chilton spearheaded the “Where There’s Smoke” campaign, which addressed Southland’s poor safety record and distributed smoke detectors to the public through the Invercargill License Fund.
The campaign won him the Qantas New Zealand Award (now the Voyager Media Awards) in 2002.